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#pounditWednesday, September 28, 2022

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Aaron Judge has intriguing response about playing for Yankees’ rival

Aaron Judge running

Aug 23, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) runs to first base after hitting a single against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge is making history for the New York Yankees, but his upcoming free agency remains a topic in the back of some people’s minds. Judge certainly fueled that on Tuesday with one response he gave following the Yankees’ 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Judge was asked if he would ever be willing to sign with the Red Sox despite their status as the Yankees’ chief rivals. Interestingly, the All-Star outfielder did not seem averse to the idea.

“Ooh. We’ll talk about that at the end of the year,” Judge said when asked about possibly signing with the Red Sox, via Phillip Martinez of SNY.

Judge also had praise for Boston fans, calling them some of the best in baseball.

“It’s the best, they’re some of the best in baseball,” Judge said. “They’re going to boo you, they’re going to say some things, they’re going to make you laugh. It’s all part of it. A lot of great history here, and this is one of the best places to play, so it’s always fun going out there and trying to put on a show for them.”

Of course, it does not do Judge much good to rule out any potential destinations right now. The more options he has as a free agent, the more he can maximize the contract he ultimately gets, at least in theory. Still, the mere thought of Judge with the Red Sox is probably enough to infuriate a lot of Yankee fans.

Ultimately, other teams may be better positioned to lure Judge away from New York this offseason. Perhaps Boston bears watching if they decide to spend, though.

Tom Brady hints at reason why he might retire

Tom Brady throws a pass

Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There has been speculation about Tom Brady retiring for several years now, which is only natural given the legendary quarterback’s age. With all the recent rumors we have heard about his personal life, it seems more realistic than ever that Brady will walk away from playing after the season. His reason for doing so just might be a lot different from what he envisioned years ago.

Brady famously said back in 2014 that he will have no problem retiring “when I suck.” He was 37 at the time. Brady won his fourth Super Bowl that year and has added another three championships since. Now 45, he still does not suck. Brady had one of the best seasons of his career last year with 5,316 yards, 43 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions.

If Brady based his retirement decision on his ability to play at a high level, he could probably make it to age 50. However, he made it clear on his latest “Let’s Go” podcast with Jim Gray that his on-field performance is no longer the biggest factor.

“You wrestle with different things as you get older. I’d say the only thing that changed over time is you have different priorities when you get older,” Brady said, via Khari Thompson of Boston.com. “When I was 25, there was the simplicity of a 25-year-old life. I think when you’re 45 you have other commitments and obligations that are very important to you, namely children that are growing up.”

Brady then went on to list several key life events that he has missed over the past 23 years, including holidays, birthday parties, weddings and funerals.

“I think there comes a point in your life, where you say you know what I’ve had my fill it’s enough and it’s time to go on into other parts of life,” he added.

Brady announced his retirement at the start of the offseason only to return less than two months later. That change of heart may have led to some serious issues between him and his wife Gisele, though the two are reportedly trying to work through that.

None of that makes it a guarantee that Brady will retire following the 2022 season, but it certainly sounds like he is leaning that way. If he wins an eighth Super Bowl, he will probably have a lot easier time making the call.

Diamondbacks used security to ensure Dodgers did not pull stunt again

Dodgers go for a swim in the Diamondbacks pool

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West division title with a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, and their opponents were not about to let them get carried away with their celebration.

Toward the end of the Dodgers’ 4-0 win over the D-Backs, security personnel could be seen standing guard in front of the famous swimming pool that is located beyond the outfield wall at Chase Field.

Typically when there is added security like that, it is to prevent unruly behavior from fans. However, the officers in this instance were making sure Dodgers players did not take a celebratory dip in the pool, which they have done in the past.

Back in 2013, the Diamondbacks asked the Dodgers not to celebrate on their field if L.A. clinched the NL West title. The Dodgers respected the request at first by celebrating in the clubhouse, but players later hopped the fence in right-center and went for a swim. The Diamondbacks took some measures a few years later to make sure it did not happen again when the Dodgers beat them in the NLDS.

The D-Backs may not be able to stop losing to the Dodgers, but it looks like the swimming pool celebration days are over.

Jordan Montgomery shares how Yankees misused him

Jordan Montgomery throwing a pitch

Sep 2, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (48) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

There was perhaps no trade deadline deal that has had more of an impact this season than the St. Louis Cardinals-New York Yankees trade that sent Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis.

The day of the August 2 deadline, the Yankees dealt Montgomery to the Cardinals for Harrison Bader. Bader was injured at the time of the trade, and the outfielder has just now begun a rehab assignment in the minors. Meanwhile, Montgomery has been the best pitcher in MLB since the trade. He is 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA in seven starts with St. Louis.

The southpaw pitcher appeared in an interview with the “R2C2” podcast between Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia last week. In the interview, Montgomery shared how the Yankees mishandled him. Apparently the Yankees told Montgomery he didn’t have a very good fastball, and limited his use of the pitch.

“I didn’t really have much faith in my heater at the Yankees,” Montgomery said during his interview. “I’d been told that it wasn’t that good compared to my other pitches, and if I was gonna get hit, it was gonna be on a curveball or a changeup, which isn’t how you can pitch.”

Montgomery said that opposing hitters knew he would only throw slow stuff with two strikes, so they could take those pitches. He also says he’s now more aggressive and able to pitch inside with his fastball, which the Yankees discouraged for him.

Despite feeling like the Yankees misused him, Montgomery says the Yankees treated him well.

“The Yankees were good to me for seven years,” Montgomery said. “I always thought I was going to be a Yankee lifer.”

Now, Montgomery has a new home with St. Louis, and things are going quite well there.

Nick Young responds to his boxing critics

Nick Young on the bench

Dec 10, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; General view of Denver Nuggets guard Nick Young (34) during the second half against the against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Young is the latest professional athlete to stray away from his sport and give boxing a try, and his debut on Saturday night did not go well. Unless, of course, you ask him.

Young fought TikTok star Malcolm Minikon at the Social Gloves 2 event at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., on Saturday night. The fight, which was scheduled for five rounds, was stopped in the middle of the fourth when Minikon pushed Young through the ropes. Young said he felt the fight was going well for him and that Minikon had to resort to a “cheap shot.”

“I felt good, I hit him a lot, I felt I came and did what I had to do,” Young said, per Harry Davies of The Mirror. “He hit me with a cheap shot and that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re losing. I don’t want him getting a headbutt at the end and thinking he won off a headbutt, I don’t know how you can think he won.”

You can see how the fight ended in the video below, which also showcases some of Young’s unique boxing skills.

A lot of people said Young got knocked out. He strongly disagreed and fired back at his critics.

“Y’all crazy Sayin I got knock [sic] out … I was whooping that boy a–,” Young tweeted on Monday (edited by LBS for profanity).

Young also said Minikon threw elbows at him and only hit him once the entire fight.

Young was supposed to fight a different opponent, but Minikon had to step in last week due to a licensing issue. That left Minikon just two days to prepare. Even still, he looked no less experienced than Young.

Young has not officially retired from the NBA. He last played for the Denver Nuggets in 2018. The 37-year-old has a better chance of returning to pro basketball than he does carving out a career in boxing.

Russell Wilson responds to boos from Seahawks fans

Russell Wilson in practice gear

Jun 13, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during mini camp drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson did not receive a warm welcome in his return to Seattle on Monday night, but the Denver Broncos quarterback insists he was not bothered by the reception.

Wilson spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Seahawks and won a Super Bowl with the team. You would never have known that by the way fans at Lumen Field treated him on Monday, as the boos overwhelming drowned out the cheers when Wilson led the Broncos out of the locker room (video here). Wilson was asked after the game about the hostile environment.

Seahawks fans are some of the most passionate in sports. While most of them probably appreciate what Wilson did for the franchise, there was no way they were going to treat him like one of their own on opening night. They also know that Wilson would not have been traded if he wanted to remain in Seattle.

The outcome was ideal for the home fans, as Geno Smith and the Seahawks managed to spoil Wilson’s highly anticipated return. Though, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett may be to blame for that.

Video: Russell Wilson gets booed by Seahawks fans

Russell Wilson jogging

Those wondering what the reception would be like for Russell Wilson in his return to Seattle quickly got their answer.

Seahawks fans booed Wilson upon the quarterback’s return to Lumen Field. When Wilson led his Denver Broncos out onto the field for pregame warmups, there were cheers from plenty of Broncos fans. But the Seahawks fans in attendance made their boos heard.

They booed again as Wilson and the Broncos headed off the field.

The boos were the loudest when Wilson came on for his first offensive series of the game.

The fans booing Wilson doesn’t mean they’re not grateful or appreciative for what he did while with the team. The boos reflect the current situation: Wilson requested a trade and now plays for an opponent that’s trying to beat their team. This is not the time to celebrate Wilson’s great legacy in Seattle; there will be plenty of opportunities to do that years in the future. This is the time to treat Wilson like the opponent he is.

Leonard Fournette trolls Micah Parsons for complaining about block

Leonard Fournette blocks Micah Parsons

Leonard Fournette sent Micah Parsons to the turf with a big block during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. If that wasn’t enough, Fournette then had to troll the star pass-rusher about it the following day.

Parsons took to Twitter after the Cowboys’ 19-3 loss to downplay the way Fournette laid him out. He said people need to stop hyping up Fournette’s big hit because it is easy to get the best of a defender who isn’t even looking at you.

“Now go watch the tape! And see what happenned (sic) when it was me and him one on one!!! You hit someone not looking you straight p—y!! Stop hyping this weak a– s— it’s football!!” Parsons wrote (edited by LBS for profanity).

Fournette responded on Monday with the famous crying Michael Jordan meme.

The block that sent Parsons flying came when Fournette hit him as he was engaged with a Bucs offensive lineman. You can see the video here. One Pro Bowl player even called on the NFL to outlaw similar plays.

Fournette clearly does not regret it, nor should he. The block was clean and gave Tom Brady more time to deliver a deep pass to Julio Jones.

Tua Tagovailoa accomplished rare feat against Patriots

Tua Tagovailoa celebrates a play

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after running with the football for a first down against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins once again got the best of the New England Patriots on Sunday, and Tua Tagovailoa accomplished a rare feat with the win.

Tagovailoa is now 4-0 in his career against Bill Belichick. He is the first quarterback ever to win his first four starts against Belichick since the coach was hired by the New England Patriots. The only other quarterback to do it is John Elway, but that was when Belichick was with the Cleveland Browns.

Tagovailoa was made aware of the accomplishment after Miami’s 20-7 win. He quickly downplayed it.

“That’s not an individual accolade or I don’t even look at it as close to being that,” the former Alabama star said, per Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a team sport. This team has won four straight against New England. However way you see it, however way you put it, that’s what it is.”

Of course, all four of Tagovailoa’s wins against the Patriots have also come in the post-Tom Brady era. His record against Belichick probably says more about the way New England has struggled since losing Brady, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Tagovailoa completed 23-of-33 passes for 207 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against New England. He did not exactly look like the dominant quarterback one of his teammates promises he will be, but he played well enough to help his team win an important divisional game. That has now become a theme for Tua each time he faces the Patriots.

Dolphins fans! It’s time to roll in a new era in Miami. This Roll Fins shirt is a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Scott Frost firing a surprise for 1 big reason

Scott Frost in a Nebraska cap

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost is seen before a Big Ten Conference NCAA football game on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Scott Frost entered the 2022 season on the hot seat, and the coach lasted just three games. Had Nebraska kept him around for a few more weeks, they could have saved millions of dollars.

It is not a surprise that Frost lost his job after a 1-2 start that featured losses to Northwestern and Georgia Southern. What is baffling is that Nebraska did not wait until Oct. 1 to make the move. As Bruce Feldman of The Athletic noted, Frost’s buyout was scheduled to drop from $15 million to $7.5 million on that date.

That means Nebraska could have saved $7.5 million if they let Frost coach the team for just two more games. The Cornhuskers play Oklahoma next weekend and then have a bye before their Oct. 1 date with Indiana.

Frost never finished with a winning record in his four full seasons at Nebraska. The team won just three games in each of the past two seasons. He threw his staff under the bus following a second-half meltdown against Northwestern in Week 1.

It is possible that Frost knew he was going to be fired and worked out some sort of agreement with Nebraska. But if the school chose to eat $7.5 million just to get rid of him as soon as possible, that shows how desperate administrators were to close the book on the Frost era.